Be a year-round beach bum . . .
Antigua and its neighbouring Barbuda are small but perfectly framed, with just about everything you need for the perfect Caribbean getaway.
Fancy spending a year in paradise? Well Antigua maybe the perfect island to realise your dream, particularly if your idea of heaven is relaxing on a sun-drenched golden beach. You’ll never be bored of your sandy surroundings in Antigua as there are 365 beaches to choose from, one for every day of your beach-hopping adventure. Part of the Leeward Islands in the eastern Caribbean, Antigua is rich in history and culture – there’s always a special event or festival happening on the island. With its constant trade winds and softly indented coastline, Antigua offers some of the best sailing in the Caribbean. English Harbour on the south coast is yachting heaven and attracts sailors from all over the globe. In April, Sailing Week takes and the shoreline around English Harbour comes alive the sounds of reggae and calypso well into the night. The Classic Yacht Regatta in mid April takes place before Sailing Week. One of the foremost classic yacht regattas in the world, seeing these beautiful ships take to the water is quite an experience. Then in July there’s Carnival, an explosion of colour, music, food art, festivities and fun, an unmissable celebration of the Caribbean spirit that commemorates the earliest abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean.
But Antigua is still the perfect place to be in quieter moments, embrace a land of rolling hills and flowering trees, its skyline dotted with old stone windmills and forts, its coastline scalloped with small coves, graceful harbours and sandy bays.
Shelves, providing great conditions for shallow diving and snorkelling, surround much of the coastline of Antigua & Barbuda. But if you want more of a challenge, you’ll love scuba-diving and hiking too, or explore the island’s historic sites like the ruins of Fort Barrington, overlooking Deep Bay and the entrance to St. John’s harbour, these fortifications saw the most action in Antigua when the French and the English battled each other for possession of the island in the 17th century.
Built around the largest of the natural harbours is St. Johns, the capital, with new boutiques and duty free shops and restaurants, Redcliff and Heritage Quays offer a wide selection of duty free goods for shopping and cuisine lovers. Heritage Quay is a duty-free shopping complex strategically placed to catch cruise ship visitors. It has a casino and is also a relaxing place to have a drink.
Antigua is a top spot for cruise ships and cruising, as well as day excursions to Barbuda, one of the two island dependencies of Antigua, (the other is Redonda). Some 30 miles to the north of Antigua, Barbuda is a flat coral island, half the size of Antigua. Most of the population live in the only village on the island Codrington, which stands on the edge of the lagoon. Barbuda has excellent beaches; the coral of which the island is made gives the beaches a rare pink hue, which makes them quite stunning.
The perfect pink sand beach at Palmetto Point makes it a perfect spot to relax. The seas are rich with all types of crustaceans and tropical fish. Palaster Reef is a marine reserve that protects the reef and the shipwrecks (there are around 60 ships documented). Experienced divers will enjoy the wreck diving off Barbuda, and you can swim from the beach to the reef.
This is one of the few islands in this part of the Caribbean where there is still a lot of wildlife, so it’s great for bird watching. The impressive Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the mangroves on Codrington Lagoon is home to the largest colony of Frigate birds in the world, and the sight of some 10,000 birds is just stunning. Access is by boat only and the best time to visit is during mating season (August to November).
Antigua & Barbuda is a thriving tourist destination offering visitors a wealth of attractions, a warm climate, sandy beaches, clear Caribbean waters and a fascinating cultural heritage. Whether you are thinking of business, pleasure or a combination of the two, you’ll always feel welcome in Antigua & Barbuda.
Nelson’s Dockyard is the only restored working Georgian dockyard in the world. Developed as base for the British Navy in 18th century, it is now a fascinating National Park. For a reminder of colonial maritime history check out the forts of English Harbour and Shirley Heights, you can see local crafts being made at the Blind Workshop or maybe get a group together for a moonlight bonfire in the cave on Windward Beach on English Harbour. Or watch the sunrise on beautiful Half Moon Bay Beach.
Betty’s Hope was once the largest sugar plantation on Antigua, and is now the only working sugar mill in the Caribbean.
The museum of Antigua & Barbuda is worth a visit, and if you take a trip to the capital you can take in the magnificent St. John’s Cathedral.
The best way to see more of the island is by hiring a car and drive along steep and hilly Fig Tree Drive, where you might be surprised to learn that Antigua has its own small rainforest.
Around 150 different birds have been observed in Antigua & Barbuda, of which a third are year-round residents and the rest are seasonal migrants. Good spots for bird watching include McKinnons salt pond, north of St. Johns where thousands of sandpipers and other water birds can be seen and where yellow crowned night herons breed.
Wining & Dining
Antigua offers a wide variety of restaurants, bars and nightly entertainment throughout the island. The restaurants in Antigua offer fine dining with both international and authentic Caribbean and Antiguan cuisine, Climb the old wooden stairs to Hemingway’s Caribbean Café, this corner of paradise where an above-average chef works his above-average magic. Breakfast fare is typical. Lunch is more creative with clubs, burgers, chicken and fruit salad platters. The memorable dinner menu includes one of Antigua’s best-curried chicken dishes. There are also good chops, steaks and seafood. Probably the biggest draw here is the veranda overlooking Heritage Quay, just half a block from the harbour.
Opening hours: 11:30am–10pm daily. Lower St. Mary’s Street (near Thames Street) St. John’s Antigua, West Indies, Tel: +1 268 462 2763.
The Home Restaurant, on Gambles Terrace, uses only the freshest ingredients to create Authentic Caribbean dishes that include local fish, fruit and vegetables, plus herbs from our own garden. The setting of this culinary experience is the boyhood home of chef Carl Thomas.
Phone: 268 461-7651 Fax: 268 461-0277; e-mail: ritagohome @hotmail.com
www. The home restaurant .com
If you are looking for local food and a place to Lime Antigua style, then there is no better place than Parham Corner to come and try out Goat Water, Bull Foot Soup, Seafood Water, Souse, Seasoned Rice, Spare Ribs and Barbecue Chicken than at Parham Corner, While relaxing on “De Corner” enjoy Antigua’s award winning Beer “Wadadli Beer” and other local Drinks including Pumpkin, Sea Moss, Okra and Lint Seed. Available from 9am until 6pm every Friday and Saturday.
Where to Stay
The Carlisle Bay Club in Antigua joins an exclusive list of luxury resorts on both islands. Liza Minnelli, Roger Moore and Joan Collins are among the stars that visit Antigua frequently and Princess Diana famously holidayed at the K Club on Barbuda. Carlisle Bay is a peaceful haven for those seeking a relaxing but stylish retreat where great food and refreshing service are the main priorities.
Ranked by many as one of the Caribbean’s ultimate luxury hotels, Curtain Bluff offers a magnificent setting overlooking two impressive white sand beaches.
Jumby Bay offers a tropical retreat for luxury-seeking escapists, romantics and families alike.
Pure and simple are the words that best summarise the charms of this adult only rustic retreat on Antigua’s western coast. Perched between two beaches on a hillside, Cocobay Resort is a charming collection of gingerbread-style cottages with magnificent views.
Delightful ‘Blue Waters Hotel’ enjoys a secluded tropical setting with a wide choice of accommodation, meal plans and facilities.
The Cortsland Hotel is a colourful country inn nestled in a green valley amid luxurious tropical gardens. Conveniently located close to the airport and the capital city of St. John’s, this friendly hotel offers an intimate, casual island atmosphere
Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC Dollar)
The Caribbean awaits you ~ Book a Dream Rental Property in Antigua & Barbuda and ‘Live Like a Local’